Agent's Perspective - Preparing to Rent

The rental market is very limited. There are more tenants looking for places than there are places available to rent. Often when a rental unit becomes available; ten, twenty, or more people show up to preview the property. 
The rent prices have increased dramatically. In some cases, there have been 20% to 40% increases due to demand. So, what should you do when looking for a place to rent? You should go about looking for an apartment or house to rent the same way that you would go about looking for a new job. 
You should be well organized, serious and professional in your quest. Always put your best foot forward. Look your best. Like with most things, first impressions can be critical. 
Remember a landlord has a lot of hard earned dollars invested in the place you want to rent. They also usually have invested a lot of time and effort, and have emotional ties to the property. They want to feel like the new tenant will respect and take care of their property.
Make sure that your information on the rental application is accurate. If during the initial application process some information is found to be inaccurate or false, the landlord might wonder about what else is not true. 
Always check your credit first to see what appears on your credit report. Having a current credit report to accompany your application saves time and gives a very good impression. If you do have a couple of derogatory comments on your credit report, try to get them corrected if possible. Your past credit history most often is an indication of what your future paying habits will be. 
Sit down and really give some thought to the type of property you are looking for. Maybe make a list of amenities that are a must for you. When you view a property, have your list with you to help you decide if the place you’re looking at has possibilities. Remember, you are never going to find a place that has everything you want. Mentally run through your list while viewing the rental property and make your decision based on what’s important to you. There really is no need to discuss the rental in detail with the owner unless you are pretty sure it basically meets your needs and desires. 
If there are things that you don’t like about the property, and you have decided it is not right for you, then keep your comments or criticisms to yourself. If you are interested, be polite and positive. Remember, the owner or manager is also looking for someone they would feel comfortable dealing with in the future if you become the new tenant. 
Remember, the property owner is looking at you to see if they might be willing to develop a long term business relationship with you. You, in turn, should be looking at the property owner and the property and thinking the same thing.